Tag Archives: columns

Diary of a hopeful author: How to keep on writing

It’s “Wednesday Wafflings” when I post the latest entry in my Diary of a Hopeful Author…

Photo of a Diary

This week I have trawled through the archives again to pick out another post which went down well. This one is all about how to keep writing, or, at least how I keep writing. There’s an analogy with running, but stay with it, it’s not too energetic. The thing I like about this post is that when I re-read it, it’s still relevant to my writing now, finding myself, as I do this week and next, in the throws of major editing deadlines. So, after over a year of this blog, hope you enjoy this post – and that your writing is going good. Don’t give up.

I used to run a lot when I was a kid. Give me a road, and I’d be on it. I was a right Forrest Gump. I loved the feeling of being outside. The fact that we didn’t have a car might have had something to do with it, too. No car and friends living 7-miles into the next village, plus no buses. So I ran.

The good thing about all that running was stamina. I got it in the bucket load. I was like a Duracell bunny, going on forever, not running out of energy. I love a bit of stamina. It links arm in arm with its old pal, motivation, like two BFFs but only, well, cooler.  They’re a right old double act. Motivation gets us up and going, while stamina picks up where it left off and makes sure we keep moving forward.

This week I’ve been needing the two in spades. I am shattered. Cream crackered and in need of two weeks of sleep in one hit. But that ain’t going to happen any time soon.  Christmas is juggernauting its way to us all and with it a whole heap of preparation, pressie buying and workload shifting.

For me that means writing. Five columns. I wrote, last week, five columns in one day for my Weekend paper because, when I looked at all the deadlines and factored in Christmas and the fact that I want to spend time with my family, I just had to get it done. And that’s just for one paper. I haven’t started on the Gazette column deadlines yet. And then there’s the novel. 100k words it’s up to now. 100k! Not entirely sure how that happened, but I do know it needs editing. I’m now averaging on that 2 chapters a day – that’s 8,000 words – all to get it done by, yup, Christmas.

I was flagging, and then I gave myself a dose of motivation followed by a swift kick from stamina.  Alright, maybe there was some caffeine, too, but you get the idea. I want to finish this book edit. I have to. I just want to see how far it can go, that if, in the New Year, it will hit the shelves. That’s my motivation. It’s a dream, I guess, but it works.

My stamina – I’m not sure where it comes from. I get up at 5 every day while the family sleeps. I then write during the day, too, the columns, blogs, the novel, any other writing job that springs up. I think the stamina is connected to the motivation. When I was a kid, my motivation to run was so I could see my friends, and because I loved to run. The stamina came along with me because it had to – without it, no matter what motivation I had, I wouldn’t get there.

And so that’s been my week. Bleary eyes, LOTS of coffee, and a whole heap of writing and still more to go. But it’ll be okay, because I’m looking forward to Christmas when I can forget all about it and listen to our youngest belt out carols on her guitar. Yes, motivation comes in the form of Jingle Bells.

What’s your motivation?  Stamina? What keeps you writing when you feel like throwing in the towel?

Out tomorrow “Thursday Thoughts” where I post my latest Gazette newspaper column to my blog…**

Diary of a hopeful author: Why evaluating is the grandfather of writing

It’s “Wednesday Wafflings” when I post the latest entry in my Diary of a Hopeful Author…Photo of a Diary

Well, it’s all nearly over.  We’re a coming to Christmas and, writing wise, it’s time for me to fess up and tell you if a) I’ve hit my deadlines or b) I’ve not even come close. It’s kind of evaluating, if you will, how I’ve done and, most importantly, whether I’ve completed what I said I would (stay with me).

Evaluating is like the grandfather of writing. It sits in a corner of the room, grumbling and for the most part, you don’t notice he’s there until he pipes up something profound – or a profanity, which ever comes first. Evaluating is profound. When you evaluate your work and the effort you put in, you begin to realise things. Things about yourself, who you are, what makes you tick. Evaluating is the wise bit, the bit that you sit back and think, did I do a good job? It makes you assess what you do well, and what not so well, so that next time round you can apply it all and become even more awesome.

This week I’ve been evaluating a whole heap. I’ve looked at what I’ve done in 2012 writing wise and pondered if I’ve done a good job. It’s been scary. I took a massive punt at the start of the year, because back in January, I was working as a marketing consultant and a copywriter. I have always written. Always. That’s all I wanted to do. I was feeling low. I wanted to do a job I loved because, quite frankly, life’s too short to waste it. I didn’t mind marketing, I was pretty good at it, but it wasn’t enough.

And so, after a heart to heart with my other half, I decided to take a huge risk and throw all my delicate eggs into one writing basket. I was going to be a full-time writer. It’s been hard at times, but it’s been worth it. Hell yeah. On a whim, after a particularly low point, I thought, ‘Oh sod it,’ and stuck my book, The Boy Who Played Guitar, on Amazon and I nearly fell over when it started to sell and got great reviews. I bagged the Gazette column job, then the Citizen and Echo Weekend columnist gig. There’s been a bit of radio, some invites to cracking things. And then there’s the second book.

You may recall a few posts ago that I said I’d try and have the edit number one finished by Christmas. The 25th ain’t far now. Today, it’s 6 sleeps away. Six.  (Everything gets counted down in sleeps at our house. And that’s just by my husband.) So have I done it? Nearly. As we speak I have two – just two- chapters left to go. I’ll get one done today and that just leaves the last one for tomorrow. And then? I’VE FINISHED!! Pass me the sherry (that stuff like rocket fuel. No wonder the grannies love it.)

If I evaluate this all grandfather style, I’d say I guess I haven’t done so bad. But there’s so much more to do. New Year is all about fresh starts, and I think my 2013 will go for it. A book on the shelves, more newspaper work. Heck, a national would be great. Who knows. I do know it’s been hard work but heck if it’s not worth it.

I love this job. Love it. That’s my evaluation. My evaluation would come and pat me on the head, give me a hug and say keep going. Keep going. One to remember for us all come 2013. We gotta keep on going.

This is my last Wednesday post for 2012. Huge thanks for reading all my waffle this year – I am truly honoured. See you in 2013. Merry Sherry Christmas and a cracking New Year to you!  

Out tomorrow “Thursday Thoughts” where I post my latest Gazette newspaper column to my blog. This week I’m talking about  how if you’re trying to do good, a little pre-planning always help…**

Diary of a hopeful author: How to keep on writing

It’s “Wednesday Wafflings” when I post the latest entry in my Diary of a Hopeful Author…Photo of a Diary

I used to run a lot when I was a kid. Give me a road, and I’d be on it. I was a right Forrest Gump. I loved the feeling of being outside. The fact that we didn’t have a car might have had something to do with it, too. No car and friends living 7-miles into the next village, plus no buses. So I ran.

The good thing about all that running was stamina. I got it in the bucket load. I was like a Duracell bunny, going on forever, not running out of energy. I love a bit of stamina. It links arm in arm with its old pal, motivation, like two BFFs but only, well, cooler.  They’re a right old double act. Motivation gets us up and going, while stamina picks up where it left off and makes sure we keep moving forward.

This week I’ve been needing the two in spades. I am shattered. Cream crackered and in need of two weeks of sleep in one hit. But that ain’t going to happen any time soon.  Christmas is juggernauting its way to us all and with it a whole heap of preparation, pressie buying and workload shifting.

For me that means writing. Five columns. I wrote, last week, five columns in one day for my Weekend paper because, when I looked at all the deadlines and factored in Christmas and the fact that I want to spend time with my family, I just had to get it done. And that’s just for one paper. I haven’t started on the Gazette column deadlines yet. And then there’s the novel. 100k words it’s up to now. 100k! Not entirely sure how that happened, but I do know it needs editing. I’m now averaging on that 2 chapters a day – that’s 8,000 words – all to get it done by, yup, Christmas.

I was flagging, and then I gave myself a dose of motivation followed by a swift kick from stamina.  Alright, maybe there was some caffeine, too, but you get the idea. I want to finish this book edit. I have to. I just want to see how far it can go, that if, in the New Year, it will hit the shelves. That’s my motivation. It’s a dream, I guess, but it works.

My stamina – I’m not sure where it comes from. I get up at 5 every day while the family sleeps. I then write during the day, too, the columns, blogs, the novel, any other writing job that springs up. I think the stamina is connected to the motivation. When I was a kid, my motivation to run was so I could see my friends, and because I loved to run. The stamina came along with me because it had to – without it, no matter what motivation I had, I wouldn’t get there.

And so that’s been my week. Bleary eyes, LOTS of coffee, and a whole heap of writing and still more to go. But it’ll be okay, because I’m looking forward to Christmas when I can forget all about it and listen to our youngest belt out carols on her guitar. Yes, motivation comes in the form of Jingle Bells.

What’s your motivation?  Stamina? What keeps you writing when you feel like throwing in the towel?

 Out tomorrow “Thursday Thoughts” where I post my latest Gazette newspaper column to my blog. This week I’m talking about  why new homes must be built in villages…**